Sunday, August 4, 2013

Abruzzo (or was it Tolkien's Middle Earth?)

This bike trip was mired in all sorts of setbacks, delays, breakdowns and bizarre bodily harm. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, the plan just doesn't come together. What really counts though is that we persevered and still managed to get away and have some good times. It would have been much easier to just stay home and do nothing, but where's the fun in that?
Marco's bike was finally sorted out and it handled the trip well. There are some oil leaks (absolutely unacceptable on a BMW) and some minor carburation/timing issues that will be tackled soon, but other than that it turned out a really neat "little" bike. Here's a before (stock photo) and after.

The trip then...
Well, luckily we didn't have anything booked (no ferries, campgrounds...) so we were free to completely reshape our itinerary, which is where the lads really shone. Instead of focusing on a trimmed down version of our original Schwarzwald trip, they turned their attention to the mountainous region of Abruzzo, often little known even to Italians. It's incredible just how far this place feels, even though it is very close to Rome.
It makes for an ideal destination for all kinds of motorcycle trips, though obviously it's scramblers and off-roaders that'll be able to make the most of it. We toured around two of the massive nature reserves and saw only a relatively small portion of them. One place we found, in wolf country, right above a lake, was so surprisingly good (in terms of location, hospitality of the locals and quality of the food) that we're not telling where it is, though we will be going back with a few others we think would enjoy it. When? I think we've learned our lesson about making plans...
I'll let the photos do the talking for now, and we'll resume "business as usual" with garage, BSA, Sportster, etc. over the next couple of weeks.

Getting the scrambler ready sapped the life out of him, but Witold got it done nevertheless. Of course Marco did more than his fair share and was happy with the result (certainly judging by how he rides that thing: bloody hell!).

As you can see, breathtaking scenery, great mountain roads and more sweeping corners than you'll know what to do with. Unfortunately, nothing is ever guaranteed to be trouble free:

Whilst you would expect to see that much oil splattered around the rear wheel of a Norton, it has absolutely no business being on a BMW. We suspect the culprit to be a defective bearing, or poor quality oil seal. Whatever it may be, there was only one thing for it, and that was the end of our trip:


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